MoonDogs Edge Stingers to Even Series in Mankato Friday Night
By: Connor Wachtel
MANKATO, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs (7-5) evened the four-game series at one game with a 2-1 victory over the Willmar Stingers (8-4), Friday at ISG Field.
Luke Young (Midland College – Texas) was lights out in his second start of the summer. His 8.1 innings of one-run and one-hit baseball was enough to give the Dogs their seventh win of 2021. In his return to the MoonDogs roster for the first time since last season, Evan Berkey (Cal State – Bakersfield) was solid on the defensive end for Mankato and drove in the first run.
Berkey got the MoonDogs on the board first in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Kole Kaler (Hawaii). In the next at bat, Dustin Demeter (Hawaii) made it 2-0 with a double to the rightfield corner, bringing Jack Costello (San Diego) around to score from second.
The MoonDogs rode the two-run advantage until the end to win 2-1. The Stingers got the one run back in the top of the eighth on a fielder’s choice ground out.
The MoonDogs outhit the Stingers 10-2 to start the weekend on a high note. Willmar had the game’s only error while Mankato had two more runners left on base than the opposition, 7-5.
Young moved to a 1-1 record after pitching 7.1 innings of one-run and one-hit baseball. The right-hander walked three and struck out five along the way before Davonte Butler (Cal State – Bakersfield) made his MoonDogs debut to relieve Young of his duties. Butler helped escape a one-out jam in the eighth and worked through the ninth for a save. He allowed a hit and had one strikeout.
For the Stingers, Tanner Brown got the loss to fall to 0-1 in the game after pitching seven innings, allowing nine hits, two runs, walking one and striking out six.
The MoonDogs and Stingers rematch for game three of four Saturday at ISG Field with another 6:35 p.m. start time.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.